New era of holistic health at Yun Wellness, Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong

, New era of holistic health at Yun Wellness, Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong

As the lift door opened into a lobby with lush overhanging foliage, I thought I had stumbled upon a secret garden. Instead, this was the new Yun Wellness flagship concept that recently opened in Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong, with plans for replication in other Shangri-la properties worldwide.

The calming mood is fostered by botanical-themed interiors, as well as nature elements inspired by the nearby Hong Kong Park in the form of bamboo trellis and lattice patterns on the walls and ceilings.

, New era of holistic health at Yun Wellness, Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong

Besides 10 treatment rooms, including two for couples and two dedicated to health consultations and physiotherapy, there is also a 28.5-meter outdoor swimming pool, a well-equipped gym, and a hair salon. The well-appointed changing rooms are in earthy hues and elegant finishings, complete with high-end amenities, such as Dyson hairdryers and clean-beauty toiletries from American brand John Masters Organics.

Yun Wellness taps on the attraction of being a one-stop hub of self-improvement and wellbeing for harried urbanites, even while on vacation. Besides body treatments and facials, there are also pre- and post-natal care services, physiotherapy, personal training, yoga and pilates classes, as well as consultations with nutritionists to support an all-rounded journey to health. 

, New era of holistic health at Yun Wellness, Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong

The hotel is also the only one in Hong Kong with high-tech equipment such as far-infrared sauna and Exilis Ultra 360 machines approved by the United States Food Development Agency.

During a yin yoga, sound healing, and meditation class, I learned how to work through my frustration at not being able to maintain certain poses that required more flexibility than I was able to achieve. Our teacher, Maria, encouraged us that our best efforts were enough, and I finally let go of the need for perfection to enjoy the stretches and the lulling vibrations of the singing bowls. 

The signature Regenerating Body Treatment uses the radio frequency and ultrasound features of the Exilis Ultra 360 machine, combined with dry body brushing and body masking, to achieve tighter and smoother skin. Along the way, fatty deposits are broken down and the healthy production of collagen is stimulated.

, New era of holistic health at Yun Wellness, Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong

In anticipation of much feasting in the city of tempting food options, I requested for the treatment to be focused on my abdomen. My therapist Mandy was stellar in her service. She explained every step of the process and constantly made sure I was comfortable. Given that it was a one-off treatment, I had not expected significant results. I was thus surprised to find that after six days of three full meals each day, and many smaller ones in between, I barely gained several hundred grams when I would usually totter home at least two kilograms heavier.

, New era of holistic health at Yun Wellness, Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong

Island Shangri-La’s newly renovated suites added to the relaxation of my two-night stay. My Cityview Suite with separate living and sleeping areas, a kitchenette and white marble bathrooms (yes, there are two) faced the lush greenery of Victoria Peak. I would have lounged all morning on the sun-dappled sofa if not for the enticing breakfast buffet spread at the hotel’s Café Too. It included delicious fare from the city’s iconic local eateries, such as Yat Lok Roast Goose, On Lee Noodle, and Tai Cheong Bakery.

, New era of holistic health at Yun Wellness, Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong

Yun’s wellness director Dr Tal Friedman shared: “People are increasingly incorporating aspects of wellness into their daily lives, such as mindfulness, better nutrition, physical activity, and skincare. The future of hotel wellness spaces is allowing people to keep up these daily practices wherever they go and ensure that they feel taken care of. It is also inviting them to learn more about new wellness practices that they can take home with them.” I certainly left with a new perspective towards well-being beyond achieving milestones to making the best of whatever life brings.

Revitalising Retreats

These hotel spas also incorporate technology into their services to enhance well-being.

Clinique La Prairie Aesthetics & Medical Spa, Bangkok
The first Asian outpost of the well-known Swiss health clinic is a partnership with The St. Regis Hotel Bangkok. The 1,500sqm facility in the hotel has a range of wellbeing rituals that tackle areas like ageing, stress, and weight management through advanced technologies and data-backed, personalized medical assessments. This includes body sculpting and metabolism boosting solutions that leverage on high-intensity electromagnetic pulses and lipomassage technology.

The Lanesborough Club & Spa, London
Located within The Lanesborough hotel in London, the lifestyle club and spa recently launched new high-tech treatments to help clients reach their aesthetics goals in a more efficient yet non-invasive way. Examples include the Evolve X body sculpting treatment, which uses electromagnetic energy to accelerate muscle building while sculpting, and the Morpheus8 facial that combines radio-frequency energy and micro-needling to reshape one’s skin for a smoother complexion.

Fairmont Spa Century Plaza, Los Angeles
The 1,300 sq m (14,000 sq ft) spa inside the Fairmont Century Plaza hotel incorporates infrared and neuroscience technology in its treatments, including a patented neuro-acoustic headset to calm the mind and nervous system and LED face visors that combine red, blue, and amber light to increase blood circulation, generate collagen and improve cellular turnover. There are also biohacking treatments co-designed with anti-ageing expert Dr Oz Garcia that include reclining on a NASA-inspired anti-gravity chair to promote a meditative state of relaxation.

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A version of this article first appeared in Portfolio.